The US Government ordered Venezuelan diplomat detained, held in isolation, and denied needed medical care in Cabo Verde! Help demand his release.
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Sign onto the open letter:
The International Free Alex Saab Committee has launched a campaign to collect signatures and send simultaneous direct emails to authorities in the United States and Cape Verde.
Join thousands who have already signed along with the prominent individuals below to demand authorities in the United States and Cape Verde release of the Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab, arbitrarily detained in Cape Verde following US orders almost one year ago.
Alfred de Zayas
Venezuelan diplomat kidnapped by U.S. – Held in isolation and denied medical care in Cabo Verde! #FreeAlexSaab!
US authorities ordered his arrest, and Alex Saab was pulled off a plane on June 12, 2020, during a refuelling stop in the Republic of Cabo Verde, an island nation off Africa’s West Coast.
Saab, a Venezuelan diplomat to the African Union, was on a humanitarian mission to Iran at the time of his seizure to arrange emergency shipments of food, medicine, and essential supplies for Venezuela. Detained and imprisoned in total isolation and darkness in Cabo Verde for the past year, Saab has also been tortured.
Saab is battling cancer and urgently needs to be cared for by his doctors in Venezuela.
The US sanctioned Saab for his diplomatic role purchasing essential supplies for Venezuela and indicted him for building houses for the less well-off, calling his work “money laundering.” In March, however, after a three-year investigation, Swiss prosecutors found no evidence to support charges of money laundering.
Saab has never worked in nor lived in nor visited the United States for the past 30 years, nor was he involved in any transaction that included the US. Every aspect of Saab’s seizure and abusive treatment violates international law.
If the US government can extradite Alex Saab, Washington could be emboldened to seize, charge and extradite anybody anywhere. This kidnapping is a chilling reminder of the notorious US program launched in 2001 of secret renditions and disappearances of hundreds of people worldwide, some held for years without trial.
A credentialed diplomat, Saab’s arrest and year-long detention flagrantly violates internationally guaranteed diplomatic immunity. This act, ordered by the Trump Administration, is a racist insult to the African Union. It should not be continued by the Biden Administration.
The request for extradition is entirely illegal as the US has no extradition treaty with Cabo Verde, whose population of 561,000 is spread over 10 volcanic islands.
Cabo Verde is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The ECOWAS Court of Justice ordered Saab’s immediate release and termination of the extradition process on 15 March. Pressured by the US, Cabo Verde has yet to comply with the ECOWAS Court’s decision and is preparing an extradition trial.
US sanctions on Venezuela, Iran and 37 other countries violate international law and the UN Charter. Aimed at destabilizing a country through economic sabotage, sanctions inflict impoverishment and suffering on the civilian population and create dire shortages in essential supplies.
The US has sabotaged Venezuela’s exports and imports for years and has especially targeted a direct, house-to-house, food delivery program, called the CLAP Program, depriving Venezuelans of food.
The bogus charge against Alex Saab, as well as similar cases against North Korea’s Mun Chol Myong and China’s Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou involve individuals engaged in perfectly legal international trade, not US trade. (thegrayzone.com, April 27).
Alex Saab’s case has received international publicity, especially in African and Venezuelan news media, but in the US corporate media, there has been almost no coverage.
Saab’s case impacts the 15 African countries already under US sanctions. It resonates in US-sanctioned Iran and in Venezuela, where social media campaigns and demonstrations have demanded Saab’s release.
SEND this message
To: United States President Joseph Biden
To: Republic of Cabo Verde Prime Minister Ulisses Correia e Silva
To: Republic of Cabo Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca
We join in calling for the immediate release of Venezuelan diplomat Alex Saab.
Alex Saab is held in complete isolation in Cabo Verde and is in a life-threatening crisis. He is battling cancer. This has been untreated for the year he has been held.
Medical care has been refused! A visit from a London oncologist was refused. Alex Saab must be immediately released on humanitarian grounds.
Alex Saab is a lawfully appointed diplomat to the African Union. Arresting and holding a diplomat for any reason is a violation of international law and an insult to the African Union.
Alex Saab was kidnapped, held and tortured under orders from the Trump administration.
We call on President Biden to drop the demand for Alex Saab’s extradition to the U.S. This is clearly a violation of international law.
We call on the Prime Minister and the President of Cabo Verde to release Saab immediately to Venezuela to receive medical treatment.
6/1/21: International delegation of legal experts and activists prepares to visit Alex Saab in Cape Verde to learn about the case firsthand, raise awareness about the case, and awaken public opinion to his plight.
5/29/21: Boston School Bus Drivers Union (USW Local 8751) passes resolution demanding the immediate Release Venezuelan Diplomat Alex Saab (Orinoco Tribune, May 30, 2021)
- World police: Washington seeks to imprison foreign businesspeople for violating illegal US sanctions (Grayzone Project, April 27, 2021)
- US Extradition of Alex Saab is Illegal & Unfounded: Lawyers & Legal Experts (International Delegation Proposed) (Orinoco Tribune, May 21, 2021)
- US Trying to Extradite Venezuelan Diplomat for the ‘Crime’ of Securing Food for the Hungry: The Case of Alex Saab v. The Empire – (Counterpunch, May 25, 2021), (Venezuela Analysis, May 26th 2021)
- (español) Policía mundial: Washington busca encarcelar a empresarios extranjeros por incumplir sanciones ilegales – (Grayzone Project, May 1, 2021)
- Venezuelan diplomat kidnapped: Release Alex Saab! (International Action Center, May 27, 2021), (Workers World, May 27, 2021)
- Webinar: Alex Saab’s Lawyer: ‘How the US Starves Nations’ – May 19, 2021 (English and Spanish recording)
- ‘Extradition Request For Detained Venezuelan Politically Motivated’- Defence team – (Elendu Report, May 21, 2021)
- ‘It’s Political Motivated’ – Defence Team Reacts To Extradition Request For Alex Saab – (Amiloaded News, May 21, 2021)
- Defence Counsels Berate Alleged Planned Extradition Of Venezuelan Diplomat, Saab – (City Mirror News, May 21, 2021)
- Defence team insists extradition request for Alex Saab by US govt. is political – (Platform Times, May 22, 2021)
- West Africa: Ecowas Court Orders Cape Verde to Release Venezuelan Diplomat Saab – (All Africa, March 17, 2021)
- Alex Saab Case Sets Dangerous Precedents In Terms Of Extraterritorial Judicial Abuses- Legal Practitioner – (City Mirror News, May 24, 2021)
- How Venezuela’s resistance to United States’ interference contributed to Alex Saab’s arrest – (Platform Times, May 24, 2021)
- REPORT: Alex Saab Illegal Detention Setting Bad Precedent In Humanitarian Mission – (Platform Times, May 24, 2021)
- (español) ¡VENCEREMOS! Comenzó campaña de recaudación de firmas por la libertad de Alex Saab (+FIRMA AQUÍ) – (Lechuginos, 29 mayo, 2021)
Alex in his own words:
May 25, 2021
This day is symbolic. On this day of celebration, it is the heart of all freedom fighters that we hear beating in unison. On May 25, 2021, we celebrate the liberation of a continent and peoples oppressed by imperialism and the West’s insatiable thirst for conquest. This ferocious quest for imperialist domination has led to the enslavement of Africa for centuries….
- Enviado Especial – Foreign Relations letter, Arreaza (espanol)
- Representante Permanente Alterno de Venezuela ante la Unión Africana part 1 (español)
- Representante Permanente Alterno de Venezuela ante la Unión Africana part 2 (espanol)
- Maduro letter to Iran Lider Supremo part 1 (espanol)
- Maduro letter to Iran Lider Supremo part 2 (espanol)
- Procura humanitaria de insumos de gran necesidad – Arreaza
- Letter to Moussa Faki Mahat – African Union Commission (English)